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Discussion Starter #1
In relationships, there are three types of people:

(1) Those who love to take but cannot give of themselves
(2) Those who love to give but have difficulty taking from others
(3) Those who are happy to both give and take

I find that INFJs tend to fall into group 2. And that they tend to attract those from group 1. Do you agree with this?

Also, has anyone ever had success in converting people from group 1 to 3?
 

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Hi Rouge-
I wouldn't say that I have success in converting anyone, as I think people have to learn to do this for themselves if/when they want to, but I do think I myself have had some success in finding balance & learning how to both give & take. I don't think I have any relationships in my life right now that are totally unbalanced, where one is either totally a taker or totally a giver, but I had some relationships in my past that were pretty extreme in either direction.
 

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In relationships, there are three types of people:

(1) Those who love to take but cannot give of themselves
(2) Those who love to give but have difficulty taking from others
(3) Those who are happy to both give and take

I find that INFJs tend to fall into group 2. And that they tend to attract those from group 1. Do you agree with this?

Also, has anyone ever had success in converting people from group 1 to 3?
My romantic relationship is sort of the opposite--I'm the (1) attracted to the (2). I think I take more than I give. Though, things have gotten a bit more balanced in the past few months.

I have some friendships which fit your description, where I am mostly listening and helping the other person sort through their problems. But it doesn't bother me (most of the time). I feel like I receive about as much satisfaction from it as they do. It meets their emotional needs, and I feel productive and helpful in return.

Every so often, if I feel like I'm being ignored or taken advantage of, I share what's going on with me and have them listen. Or, I'll say something like, "I feel like I'm not being very helpful. And like whenever I make suggestions or try my best to help you, you don't really listen. So, I feel like what I'm doing is useless." Which is how I feel sometimes when people tell me all of their problems, badger me for help, and don't seem that grateful after I've tried my best. Usually, just expressing this gets me some reassurance and support, and they say how much they care and appreciate what I do. And they express a desire to help me back in return.

Things go through phases. When I need my friends to help me, they give back as much as they can out of appreciation. Everything balances out in the end, at least for me. And the same goes for the cases where I take more than I give.
 

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I tend to take more from INFJs than I give. :(
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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn't say that I have success in converting anyone, as I think people have to learn to do this for themselves if/when they want to
Renia, I can't agree more with this.

Every so often, if I feel like I'm being ignored or taken advantage of, I share what's going on with me and have them listen. Or, I'll say something like, "I feel like I'm not being very helpful. And like whenever I make suggestions or try my best to help you, you don't really listen. So, I feel like what I'm doing is useless." Which is how I feel sometimes when people tell me all of their problems, badger me for help, and don't seem that grateful after I've tried my best.
Selene, it's so sweet of you to care so deeply about your friends.

My idea of "taking" is a little different though. When I look back at some of my past relationships, I realise I've dated a couple of really self-centred assholes. It's always about them, them, them and what they want. They couldn't see how their decisions would affect me (e.g. choosing an apartment all the way to the other side of town and expecting me to visit all the time). When I pointed this out to one ex, he told me I was "just a girlfriend" and shouldn't tell him where he should stay. A couple were also really bad in bed- they were happy to get oral sex but reluctant to give any back. I always had to ask and even then, they were finished in 2 minutes. And of course, there were the guys who couldn't compromise, even if we always fought over the same issues and some small action on their part would have resolved a lot of the conflicts. They had to get their way all the time because it's about "accepting them for who they are". The absolute worst had to be this guy who let me freeze in winter when I visited him in Germany for 2-3 days, so he could save a few dollars by leaving the heater off. I ended up with a cold that lasted 1-2 weeks.

Sometimes, I wonder if I could have "saved" these relationships by talking to these guys about giving more of themselves. But the cynical part of me thinks this is futile. After all, self-centred people seldom see the need to make others happy; their main focus will always be themselves.

Any thoughts anyone?
 

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Oh, if that's what you mean, then I'm not a taker. I'm just emotionally needy.
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Hmmm... I’m not sure if I agree with the premise (that there are three types of people).

I think have been all three of these options at different times. My ability to give and take are dependent on a lot of factors. Depending on how my day/week/month/year has been, what’s been going on in my life and my state of mind I can be extremely needy or extremely giving.

But anyway, to try to answer your questions:
-- I think as a general rule I am happy to both give and take in my relationships. I’m including friendships in here.
-- I don’t think I attract people that only want to take. That gets boring quickly for me.
-- I try to notice what it is that the person is giving. It’s not always the same thing that I give them, like sometimes I give people support and they give me laughter and good times.
 
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Rouge- I think if it is a general pattern in a person (those self-centered assholes, my guess bordering on narcissist), then it's a waste of time taking on that big, uphill battle (this I know from life experience & dating an asshole or two here & there). If in general the person is able to give & take and is just have a lapse moment, then I think a good rule of thumb is bringing up the behavior once, or maybe twice. If they don't get it after that, it's probably not something that will change & for me it becomes about this frustration of not being heard. I don't think you can't change someones overall personality, though, particularly if certain behaviors seem to be a pervasive pattern.
 

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I can't really put myself into any of those categories because it has all varied depending on circumstance and the person.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
decided, thegirlcandance, I agree with you. I alternate between the three groups. But I also realise that there are some people who tend towards a certain group more than the others.

Rouge- I think if it is a general pattern in a person (those self-centered assholes, my guess bordering on narcissist), then it's a waste of time taking on that big, uphill battle (this I know from life experience & dating an asshole or two here & there). If in general the person is able to give & take and is just have a lapse moment, then I think a good rule of thumb is bringing up the behavior once, or maybe twice. If they don't get it after that, it's probably not something that will change & for me it becomes about this frustration of not being heard. I don't think you can't change someones overall personality, though, particularly if certain behaviors seem to be a pervasive pattern.
Yeah, I realise that most of the self-centred guys I've dated were narcissistic. Even when I pointed out how wrong they were, they couldn't see it because they could only view the world from their perspective. It's better in the long run to leave such narcissists - I can't imagine having such uphill battles all the time!

On a side note, do other INFJs have problems with telling their partners they need to shape up?I'm sometimes conflict avoidant and I find that this has caused a couple of relationships to fail. I tolerate and I tolerate and I tolerate... until I blow up one day. Then there's no going back because I've had enough. Nothing the guy can say or do will change my mind because I feel I've seen through him and he will revert back to his true self over time.
 

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I don't often see any reason to tell my husband to behave better.

But I do it when I think he needs it.

For example, I sometimes get sick of him micro-managing me / my time. It's cute that he wants to do lots of stuff with me, but sometimes I just want to go with the flow and I need him to let me do that so I don't feel smothered.

Or sometimes I get sick of listening to his complaints and negative judgments of people, and I'll remind him that none of us are perfect.

I'm not sure if those are the sorts of things you were meaning, but there you go.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Oh I was really asking whether INFJs have a difficulty telling their partners off, not whether they tell their partners off at all. But yes, it's very annoying isn't it to meet people who keep making negative judgments of others isn't it? I know someone who likes to make snap judgements of people and keep on trying to tell them what she thinks their problem is even if the topic is about something else. Sometimes I'm tempted to tell her how self-righteous, opinionated and irritating she is. But I figure it's just better to ignore her. I feel she's not worthy of any space at all in my thoughts. Is this an INFJ tendency, I wonder. To ignore rather to tell someone off.
 

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I think INFJs have the tendency to create "takers" because of our nature to help people out even if we need to go out of our way. For me, if one of my friends is in need of any kind of help I always let them interrupt what I am doing and do what I can for them. I'm not saying that my friends are "takers", it's just that in general, we INFJs feel that we must do whatever we can to assist others. Well, I'm not really sure if that goes for all INFJs but it certainly applies to me. :blushed:
 

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Yeah, I can see that with my mother. I think just by being so nice she encourages dependence. It's probably part of the reason I'm such an extreme P. She never gave me a chance to develop the idea that I could benefit from decisiveness or structure, because she planned everything for me and made my decisions. This wasn't a problem for me at the time,(at least after she figured out that I would never grow to like being randomly signed up for sports teams), because she learned to understand my needs so well, but it did make me less independent even as an adult. I don't mind it, though. I kind of like being this way.
 

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Rouge- my fuse is pretty long too, and working on being more assertive and addressing things before they become too big to do anything but explode is something I have been workign on for a long time. I know how I am and I have gotten myself into trouble before expecting that other people 'get' things or think the same way I do, and really, they probably don't. And it's such a relief to see that things can be addressed & taken care of early on before they get to that point.

(Oh, and that's happened to me before to, a few years ago with a friend, where I let things get so bad & I wasn't setting boundaries or addressing issues & in the end it all blew up in my face and there was no going back.)
 

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Hmmm... I’m not sure if I agree with the premise (that there are three types of people).

I think have been all three of these options at different times. My ability to give and take are dependent on a lot of factors. Depending on how my day/week/month/year has been, what’s been going on in my life and my state of mind I can be extremely needy or extremely giving.

But anyway, to try to answer your questions:
-- I think as a general rule I am happy to both give and take in my relationships. I’m including friendships in here.
-- I don’t think I attract people that only want to take. That gets boring quickly for me.
-- I try to notice what it is that the person is giving. It’s not always the same thing that I give them, like sometimes I give people support and they give me laughter and good times.
Darn it Decided thinks too much like me... I was going to express the exact same thoughts... I am so going to have to start trying to beat her to posts :tongue:

Now as for you miss Snail you are right you are so not a taker.. you have so so much to give and give you do :laughing: there is nothing wrong at all with you having support or love from others.. it is the right of every human to be loved and cared for
 
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When I look back at some of my past relationships, I realise I've dated a couple of really self-centred assholes. It's always about them, them, them and what they want. They couldn't see how their decisions would affect me (e.g. choosing an apartment all the way to the other side of town and expecting me to visit all the time). When I pointed this out to one ex, he told me I was "just a girlfriend" and shouldn't tell him where he should stay. A couple were also really bad in bed- they were happy to get oral sex but reluctant to give any back. I always had to ask and even then, they were finished in 2 minutes. And of course, there were the guys who couldn't compromise, even if we always fought over the same issues and some small action on their part would have resolved a lot of the conflicts. They had to get their way all the time because it's about "accepting them for who they are". The absolute worst had to be this guy who let me freeze in winter when I visited him in Germany for 2-3 days, so he could save a few dollars by leaving the heater off. I ended up with a cold that lasted 1-2 weeks.

Sometimes, I wonder if I could have "saved" these relationships by talking to these guys about giving more of themselves. But the cynical part of me thinks this is futile. After all, self-centred people seldom see the need to make others happy; their main focus will always be themselves.

Any thoughts anyone?
Yes, I have some strong feelings to share on this. After years and years of experience being married to a self-centered person I talked, dropped hints, went to counseling, argued, fussed, but in the end nothing would change for very long. I got stuck in what are referred to as abusive cycles that are toxic and terribly difficult to get out of because the predator swings back and forth from sweet and cuddly to moody and hostile. It's a miserable way to live and though I've been separated for three years, I still feel ambiguity -- a totally irrational feeling. I think for this reason I've been slow to date anyone as I seem to attract takers.

P.S. I don't know why, but I prefer to use the word receive rather than take. Take seems to have a forcing cognitation don't you think while receiving implies more free will.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, I have some strong feelings to share on this. After years and years of experience being married to a self-centered person I talked, dropped hints, went to counseling, argued, fussed, but in the end nothing would change for very long. I got stuck in what are referred to as abusive cycles that are toxic and terribly difficult to get out of because the predator swings back and forth from sweet and cuddly to moody and hostile. It's a miserable way to live and though I've been separated for three years, I still feel ambiguity -- a totally irrational feeling. I think for this reason I've been slow to date anyone as I seem to attract takers.
RomanticEditor, thanks for sharing your story. I've experienced such cycles with one ex and it's comforting to know I'm not alone. By the way, I totally get your feelings of ambiguity. As you can see from a few posts up, I actually wondered if I could have done more to save these relationships!

Rouge- my fuse is pretty long too, and working on being more assertive and addressing things before they become too big to do anything but explode is something I have been workign on for a long time. I know how I am and I have gotten myself into trouble before expecting that other people 'get' things or think the same way I do, and really, they probably don't. And it's such a relief to see that things can be addressed & taken care of early on before they get to that point.
Addressing issues early is probably something I need to work on. I'm clueless how to start though. I often wonder if I'm being too sensitive or petty to take offence. So I don't and it all builds up. Or I tell myself that everybody has flaws and I should put up with their nonsense once in a while. But still, these nonsense eat away at me. How to get around this- help, anyone?
 

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In relationships, there are three types of people:

(1) Those who love to take but cannot give of themselves
(2) Those who love to give but have difficulty taking from others
(3) Those who are happy to both give and take

I find that INFJs tend to fall into group 2. And that they tend to attract those from group 1. Do you agree with this?

Also, has anyone ever had success in converting people from group 1 to 3?

This question had me pondering for a few moments. I believe that I would fall into group 3 because I can be quite demanding when it comes to behavior. My expectations can be quite high... and I would have no problem biting you head off about it.

I was never really interested in converting people. For me, change comes from the inside... out. Not the other way around. Otherwise, it wasn't a choice "wanted" by them and I would not be comfortable with that.
 
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